From making her mark in the Hindi film industry without any ‘godfathers,’ to opening her own production house to support content-heavy cinema, Anushka Sharma has always believed in pushing the boundaries. The actor-producer, who turns 32 today, boasts of not just an impressive box-office report card, but critical acclaim for her acting prowess as well.
A staunch supporter of cinema with a message, she is also a ferocious voice against sexism and patriarchy, and has a compassionate heart for animals and lesser privileged. Donning so many hats with chutzpah, Anushka Sharma has established herself as one of the most successful and respected actors of the current generation.
The bold and beautiful actor
Anushka’s film choices have always made people sit up and notice – ever since her debut, Rab ne bana di jodi, in 2008. Over the years, with films like Band Baaja Baaraat, Dil Dhadakne Do, NH10, Pari, Ae Dil hai Mushkil, and Sui Dhaaga - Anushka’s film portfolio is filled with praise worthy, unconventional on-screen choices.
The actor has always rooted for solid content and cinematic contribution rather than the flash bulbs and regular song-and-dance routines. Her bold choices have not been restricted to just choosing roles, but in accepting criticism too. It was with the dignity and maturity of a seasoned actor that Anushka faced the criticism for her role in Sultan (2016). In the film, Anushka played the role of a wrestler who gives up her Olympic dream to become a mother. Anushka stood by her role, pointing out how criticizing a girl (the film’s character) for her choices is a flawed understanding of gender equality.
Fearless fight with trolls
From being trolled for her swollen lips to being labelled as the ‘bad omen’ for the Indian cricket team, coupled with the countless allegations of taking undue advantages of being the wife of the captain of the Indian cricket team, Anushka has been a part of many outrageous controversies. However, it is noteworthy that the actor has never shied away speaking her mind against the baseless claims.
She has also spoken up against issues such as casual sexism prevalent in the film industry, victim shaming around the #MeToo movement, and more recently, growing domestic violence during the ongoing lockdown due the global pandemic.
She, along with her husband Virat Kohli, have also contributed towards the relief funds set up by the government to fight the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Anushka, who had enjoyed a successful stint with modeling before joining the film industry, has a distinct and quirky choice in fashion and she extended that side of her through her fashion label, NUSH.
The actor-entrepreneur is also a strong supporter of animal rights. A scroll down her social media feed and one can see how the actor has always been invested in creating awareness around the unethical and cruel treatment of animals.
Anushka has been advocating for stricter laws against offenders of animal cruelty through her initiative #JusticeForAnimals, demanding amendment of the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
But the most daring of all her endeavours was becoming a producer within just a couple of years of entering the film industry, especially because Anushka has been vocal about the reason of becoming a producer so early on in her career – dearth of quality content for women.
Anushka has so far released 3 films (NH10, Phillauri, and Pari) under her production house, Clean Slate Films; and all of them have been praised for their fresh concepts.
In 2020, Anushka is all set to enthrall her fans and followers with some power packed content on the digital space. Clean Slate Films will be releasing web series for Netflix and Amazon this year, and Anushka promises to bring thrilling stories that not only entertain but also make you pause and reflect.
(Edited by Athira Nair)